Archive for March, 2012

March 29th, 2012

Sam’s Favorite Carrot Cake

Source: Brian D’Amico

Sam’s Favorite Carrot Cake

Sam’s Favorite Carrot Cake

By: Brian D'Amico

"My Grandfather (Sam) was famous for this cake. Everyone who knew him, knows of his famous carrot cake. He would always have some available for anyone who wanted it. We'll miss him, but his carrot cake legacy will always live on! Enjoy!"

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1 cup flaked coconut
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple with juice
  • 1 cup raisins

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour an 8x12 inch pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine eggs, buttermilk, oil, sugar and vanilla. Mix well. Add flour mixture and mix well.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine shredded carrots, coconut, walnuts, pineapple and raisins.
  5. Using a large wooden spoon or a very heavy whisk, add carrot mixture to batter and fold in well.
  6. Pour into prepared 8x12 inch pan, and bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 1 hour. Check with toothpick.
  7. Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes before serving.
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March 29th, 2012

Braided Easter Egg Bread

Braided Easter Egg Bread

Braided Easter Egg Bread

This decorative Easter bread has whole eggs (shells on) baked into it It is not necessary to cook the eggs, as they will bake at the same time that the bread does. Coloring the eggs before baking makes this a fun and decorative Easter bread. Be sure to get a deep rich color on the eggs so the color doesn't leach out during the baking process.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 whole eggs, dyed if desired
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Sprinkles for decorating (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine 1 cup flour, sugar, salt and yeast; stir well. Combine milk and butter in a small saucepan; heat until milk is warm and butter is softened but not melted.
  2. Gradually add the milk and butter to the flour mixture; stirring constantly. Add two eggs and 1/2 cup flour; beat well. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.
  3. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
  4. deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into two equal size rounds; cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Roll each round into a long roll about 36 inches long and 1 1/2 inches thick. Using the two long pieces of dough, form a loosely braided ring, leaving spaces for the five colored eggs. Seal the ends of the ring together and use your fingers to slide the eggs between the braids of dough.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place loaf on a buttered baking sheet and cover loosely with a damp towel. Place loaf in a warm place and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes. Brush risen loaf with melted butter.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 50 to 55 minutes, or until golden.
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March 28th, 2012

Melted Crayon Easter Eggs – Craft

Source: Family Fun Magazine

These Easter eggs are FUN to make with your kids or classroom. And what a perfect use for those broken, about to be thrown away crayons!

You will need:

  • Eggs (white)
  • Empty egg carton
  • Tongs or a large slotted spoon
  • Crayons
  • Paper towels

Instructions

  1. Hard-boil white eggs. Remove them from the hot water with tongs or a slotted spoon, pat them dry with a paper towel, and rest them in an empty egg carton or on plastic bottle caps (an adult’s job).
  2.  Moving quickly while the eggs are still warm enough to melt the crayon wax, color them with the crayons’ tips or remove the paper coverings and use the crayons’ sides. For a speckled effect, grate a crayon and sprinkle the bits over the eggs. The waxy eggs will become very slippery, so take care when turning them to color the underside.

When you are done coloring, place them in the empty egg carton and let them dry for about 30 minutes. Refrigerate until ready to use.

March 28th, 2012

Hot Cross Buns with Dried Sour Cherries and Pistachios

Hot Cross Buns with Dried Sour Cherries and Pistachios

Hot Cross Buns with Dried Sour Cherries and Pistachios

Hot cross buns were traditionally prepared by English housewives on Good Friday. To ward off evil spirits, the buns were marked with a cross made from dough before baking or with icing after baking.

According to Wikipedia, "Sharing a hot cross bun with another is supposed to ensure friendship throughout the coming year, particularly if "Half for you and half for me, Between us two shall goodwill be" is said at the time. Because of the cross on the buns, some say they should be kissed before being eaten."

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter (Not margarine)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 1 whole egg plus 2 egg yolks
  • 3 1/3 cups all-purpose unbleached flour, plus more for kneading
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dried sour cherries
  • 1/2 cup chopped pistachios
  • Melted unsalted butter for greasing and brushing
  • 1 egg yolk mixed with 1 tablespoon milk, for glazing
  • For the icing:
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons milk, heated

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Combine 5 tablespoons of the sugar, the milk, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and lemon zest in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the milk is hot and the butter is melted. Remove from the heat and pour into a large bowl. Let cool to room temperature. Meanwhile, combine the warm water with the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar in a small bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over the water and let stand until frothy, about 10 minutes. Whisk the whole egg, the egg yolks, and the yeast into the cooled milk.
  3. In another bowl, stir together the 3 1/3 cups flour and the salt. Add the yeast mixture, stirring until a sticky dough forms. Stir in the sour cherries and pistachios. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board or countertop and knead until smooth and elastic, 10 to 15 minutes. If the dough is too sticky, sprinkle with a little more flour.
  4. Transfer to a lightly buttered bowl and brush the surface with a little melted butter. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in bulk, about 2 hours. Punch down and knead briefly. Re-cover and let rise a second time, about 30 minutes. Punch the dough down again and knead briefly. Divide into quarters and divide each quarter into 4 equal pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a smooth ball and place in a lightly buttered 9-by-13-inch pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise a final time until doubled, about 30 minutes.
  5. Brush the buns with the egg glaze. Bake until golden brown and the buns sound hollow when rapped on the bottom, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
  6. To make the icing, combine the confectioners' sugar and 1 teaspoon warm milk in a bowl. Stir until smooth, adding another 1 teaspoon milk if needed to achieve a smooth consistency. Spoon into a lock-top sandwich bag, seal, and snip off the tip of one corner. Squeeze the icing from the bag, piping a cross over each cooled bun. Serve the buns at room temperature.
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March 28th, 2012

The Perfect Hard Boiled Egg

The Perfect Hard Boiled Egg

The Perfect Hard Boiled Egg

Cooking the eggs at a low simmer will make them easier to peel and help prevent cracks. Cool immediately after cooking to eliminate the unattractive grayish green circle that can form around the yolk. These hard-boiled eggs can be used immediately, or dyed and decorated and featured first in your Easter egg hunt and later as deviled eggs.

Ingredients

  • 1 dozen eggs
  • Salt

Instructions

  1. Place the eggs in a single layer, without crowding, in a 2- or 3-quart saucepan. Add water to cover by 2 inches and then the salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.
  2. Immediately remove the eggs from the hot water and plunge them into a basin of very cold water to cool down, or rinse under cold running water for about 5 minutes.
  3. To peel, roll the large end of the egg on a countertop to crack the shell. Hold the egg under cold running water, and peel away the shell. Store unpeeled hard-boiled eggs in the refrigerator until ready to use.
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March 27th, 2012

Make Easter Bunny Beanbags Out of Socks

Make Easter Bunny beanbags with children's socks - Easter CraftSource: FamilyFun.com

These darling Easter Bunny beanbags are super cute, super easy and a fabulous project to make with your children or classroom.

You will need

  • Dried lentils or rice
  • Spoon or small funnel
  • Decorative ribbon
  • Several pairs of children’s socks. Dollar stores are a great place to find these.
  • Rubber bands
  • Colored felt – black, white, and pink
  • White pom-pom or cotton ball
  • Tacky glue
  • Scissors

Instructions

  1. To make your own bunny beanbag, use a spoon or a funnel to add dried lentils to a child’s sock, filling it up just past the heel. Close the sock with a tightly looped rubber band.
  2. To create the head and neck, tie a ribbon around the sock just below the heel.
  3. Use scissors to cut the sock’s cuff into two ears, rounding the edges to give them the right shape.
  4. Cut a nose, teeth, and eyes from felt. Attach the facial features and a white pom-pom or cotton ball tail with tacky glue.

 

March 27th, 2012

Perfect Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 8 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

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Do you love soft, golden brown, chewy chocolate chip cookies? This recipe will have you rolling your eyes in ecstasy!

The order you add the ingredients and how well you mix the dough, is just as important as the ingredients themselves.

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 2 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 cup Crisco (Don't substitute Margarine!)
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (or more if you would like)

Instructions

  1. Add the first 6 ingredients (Baking Soda, Salt, Granulated Sugar, Light Brown Sugar, Vanilla, and Crisco) to your mixing bowl and mix well!
  2. Add eggs and mix until the mixture is an even consistency.
  3. Add flour and mix well.
  4. Add Chocolate Chips and mix until the chocolate chips are evenly dispersed.
  5. Roll dough into balls and space evenly on cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for approximately 8 minutes (baking times may vary) or until golden brown.
  6. The earlier you take out the cookies, the softer they will be. If you want them soft, do not let them get too brown! Let cookies cool for a few minutes, grab a tall glass of icy cold milk and enjoy!
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